Iran says agreement between Sudan and Israel mediated by US guarantees ‘ransom’

(Reuters) – On Saturday, the Iranian Foreign Ministry described the agreement brokered by the United States between Sudan and Israel to normalize relations as “fake” and accused Khartoum of paying a ransom in exchange for Washington’s removal of the agreement from the list of states sponsoring terrorism.

The agreement agreed on Friday marks the third Arab government after the UAE and Bahrain to set aside hostilities with Israel in the past two months.

“Pay a sufficient ransom and close your eyes to crimes against the Palestinians, at which time it will be removed from the alleged terror blacklist,” the ministry wrote on Twitter in English, “It is clear that the list is bogus, like the US war on terror. Shameful.”

US President Donald Trump announced on Monday that he would remove Sudan from the list once he deposited the $ 335 million he had pledged to pay in compensation.

Since then, Khartoum has put the money into a special escrow account for victims of the Al Qaeda attacks on the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.

Trump also said the Palestinians “want to do something” but did not provide evidence. Palestinian leaders denounced the recent Arab proposals to Israel as a betrayal of their national cause for statehood in the territories occupied by Israel. They have refused to deal with the Trump administration, considering it biased towards Israel.

In recent weeks, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain became the first Arab country in a quarter of a century to agree to formal relations with Israel, which arose largely from shared concerns about Iran.

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Military and civilian leaders in Sudan’s transitional government are divided over how quickly and how far should the establishment of relations with Israel go.

The point of contention in the negotiations was Sudan’s insistence that no declaration of removing Khartoum from the terrorism list be explicitly linked to relations with Israel.

Sudan’s designation in 1993 as a state sponsor of terrorism dates back to the era of its ousted ruler, Omar al-Bashir, and made it difficult for the transitional government in Khartoum to obtain urgent relief from debt and foreign funding.

(Editing by Mark Heinrich and Jason Neely)

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